A proposal to cut down on flared associated natural gas supplies in the Bakken was rejected by the North Dakota Senate Wednesday on a 34-13 vote. The measure (SB 2315) by Sen. Tim Mathern would have eliminated any hardship exemptions to the state’s ban after a year. Viewed as one of the toughest proposals to combat flaring yet, SB 2315 was strongly opposed by the industry, led by the North Dakota Petroleum Council (see Shale Daily, Feb. 12). State officials increasingly have worried about flaring, which has stayed above 30%, but below a September 2011 record of 36%. Senators opposing the measure urged patience in letting the industry address the problem. Even with the ability to flare gas for a year without paying taxes or royalties, and beyond that to seek hardship status for extending the practice, some operators are trying to find uses for the gas, including using it to produce electricity to run hydraulic fracturing equipment, and to produce fertilizer (see Shale Daily, Dec. 26, 2012).
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